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Angeles Parra at BioCultura 2014. Photo. EcoArchivo.

BioCultura - celebrating Spain's organic revolution

Pedro Burruezo / The Ecologist España

27th February 2015

Europe's biggest organic fair kicks off today in Valencia, writes Pedro Burruezo - 30 years after the first ever BioCultura event in Madrid in 1985 kicked off Spain's organic revolution. Since then Spain has become Europe's biggest organic producer, and the sector is growing at a dizzying rate of over 10% a year. more...
Protestors against the proposed 25,000-pig factory farm at Foston, Derbyshire. Photo: Farms not Factories.

Big stink! 24,500-pig factory farm defeated

The Ecologist

26th February 2015

A proposed factory farm at Foston, Derbyshire, condemned by locals as a 'pig prison' for 25,000 animals has been refused a permit by the Environment Agency because of the powerful stench it would emit and potential risks to health and the environment.
more...
As for whether we want GMO crops ... who cares? A field of wheat (non-GM) neat Templecombe, England. Photo: Helen ST via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

MPs' GMO report is a scandalous cave-in to corporate demands

Rupert Read

26th February 2015

A report published by MPs today displays a shocking ignorance of scientific logic and the nature of risk, writes Rupert Read. Confusing inconclusive evidence of harm from GMOs, with conclusive evidence of safety, they reach a false and dangerous conclusion - that the EU should give free rein to pro-GMO governments. more...
Olive tree cut by Israeli settlers from illegal settlements in the South Hebron Hills. Photo: Operation Dove.

Arboricide in Palestine - olive orchard destroyed

The Ecologist

25th February 2015

Israeli settlers in Palestine's South Hebron Hills last week cut down an orchard of 36 olive trees, in the latest attack of a decades-long war against Palestinian culture and survival in which has seen the cutting, burning and bulldozing of over a million olive, fruit and nut trees. more...
Chafer Sentry applying glyphosate to stubbles in North Yorkshire on a sunny December day. Photo: Chafer Machinery via Flickr (CC BY).

Roundup - a converging pattern of toxicity from farm to clinic to laboratory

Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji / ISIS

25th February 2015

As scientific evidence grows of the many ways in which glyphosate - pipe-cleaner, herbicide and antibiotic - damages the environment and health, governments and regulators turn a blind eye, writes Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji, and the EU has even raised allowable residue levels. It's time for us all to put bans in place wherever we can! more...
Thousands of hectares of prime rainforest habitat for chimpanzees, drills, gorillas and other primates are being wiped out as agribusiness advances across Cameroon. Photo (Chimp Eden Sanctuary): Afrika Force via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Palm oil wiping out Africa's great ape rainforests

The Ecologist

24th February 2015

The rainforest habitat of chimpanzees and other great apes is being destroyed by the expansion of palm oil projects in central Africa, according to new evidence from Greenpeace. more...
Catering Mark may not guarantee quite this at every meal - but it's delivering huge improvements on the standard catering fare of yesteryear. Photo: pablo santa cruz diaz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

The Soil Association's 'Catering Mark' is helping to deliver good food for all

Peter Melchett / Soil Association

24th February 2015

The Food for Life 'Catering Mark' is bringing fresh, healthy and local food into schools, hospitals and canteens, writes Peter Melchett - while driving big increases in the volume of organic food we eat, and growing the market for organic farmers and local food producers. more...
Cornfield in Iowa, almost certainly growing a GMO crop. Photo: Laura Bernhardt via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0).

There is no scientific consensus on GMO safety

Angelika Hilbeck & colleagues

23rd February 2015

A broad community of independent scientific researchers and scholars challenges claims of a 'consensus' that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are 'safe' to grow and eat. The claims - which continue to be widely and often uncritically aired - are a false and artificial construct that have been misleadingly perpetuated through diverse media. more...
This colorful 'beetle bank' at Sandy Lane Organic Farm provides a haven for beneficial insects: pollinators and predators of pest species. Photo: Sandy Lane Farm, Oxfordshire, England.

Only agroecology can tackle the global food and health crisis

Dr Julia Wright

23rd February 2015

The recently published Global Nutrition Report shows almost all countries face high levels of malnutrition and diet-based ill-health, writes Julia Wright. This reveals deep problems with the dominant industrial model of food production, and the need for new agroecological approaches to feeding the world. more...
John Muyiisa is one of the Bugula islanders dispossessed by the IFAD-supervised oil palm plantation that has robbed him of his land and livelihood - and a co-plaintiff in teh legal action that is launched today. Photo: Jason Taylor / FoEI).

UN, banks and oil palm giants feast on the stolen land of Uganda's dispossessed

Anne van Schaik & Oliver Tickell

19th February 2015

A small community in Uganda is challenging a UN-backed international oil palm venture that has expropriated small farmers and obliterated an entire forest on a Lake Victoria island to establish a vast plantation. Three years after the grab, Friends of the Earth groups are backing the islanders legal action, which is launched today. more...
These apples at Eberly's Orchard near North Liberty, Indiana are non-GMO - but look just like the GMO Arctic apple. In future, how will you know? Photo: Tom Gill via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

USDA approves world's first GMO apples

The Ecologist

16th February 2015

Scientists, environmental and consumer groups have decried USDA's approval of two 'Arctic' apple varieties, while major food companies and apple growers have no plans to source or grow them - despite their potential to 'generate consumer excitement in the apple category.' more...
Tesemay Tribe members in Ethiopia's Omo Valley. Photo: Rod Waddington via Flickr.com.

Ethiopia: stealing the Omo Valley, destroying its ancient Peoples

Megan Perry / Sustainable Food Trust

16th February 2015

A land grab twice the size of France is under way in Ethiopia, as the government pursues the wholesale seizure if indigenous lands to turn them over to dams and plantations for sugar, palm oil, cotton and biofuels run by foreign corporations, destroying ancient cultures and turning Lake Turkana, the world's largest desert lake, into a new Aral Sea. more...

farming: 1/25 of 1146
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Mmmm, pizza! But in the US, as much as 20% of the 'cheese' can comprise vegetable oil and starch from GMO crops. Photo: Lynac via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Why does the dairy industry oppose GMO labels?

Alexis Baden-Mayer / Organic Consumers Association.

12th February 2015

Why is the dairy industry joining in the legal action against Vermont's GMO labeling law? Could it be because a fifth of US 'cheese' can be vegetable oil and starch from GMO crops, asks Alexis Baden-Mayer - and even more of a 'frozen dairy snack' or 'processed cheese food'? more...
The Soil Association's 'Catering Mark' logo is so similar to its 'Organic' logo that he makers of this promotional video got the two mixed up - and released it without anyone noticing. The error has since been corrected.

The Soil Association's 'Catering Mark' - a compromise too far?

Lynda Brown

20th February 2015

The Soil Association's Catering Mark scheme promises 'fresh food you can trust'. This sounds great, writes Lynda Brown. But what does it really deliver? The truth, she finds, is much less than the promise might suggest, considerably more complicated, and threatens to erode the public's trust in the Soil Association's organic brand and values. more...
Sorghum, one of the crops that feeds Africa, is of little interest to profit-oriented corporate agriculture. Photo: Janki via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Land and seed laws under attack as Africa is groomed for corporate recolonization

GRAIN / AFSA / The Ecologist

12th February 2015

Across Africa, laws are being rewritten to open farming up to an agribusiness invasion - displacing the millions of small cultivators that now feed the continent, and replacing them with a new model of profit-oriented agriculture using patented seeds and varieties. The agencies effecting the transformation are legion - but they are all marching to a single drum. more...
Yes, this new luxury apartment development really is built of straw bales - the new high-precision, pre-fabricated variety, made by Modcell in one of its 'flying factories'. Photo: modcell.com.

Straw homes are a cheap and green fix for the housing crisis

Pete Walker

10th February 2015

Straw is cheap, plentiful, eco-friendly and an excellent insulator, writes Pete Walker - and officially certified prefabricated straw bale building systems are challenging traditional brick construction. So why aren't straw bale houses mushrooming on building sites across the country? Maybe they are ... more...
A convoy of Polish tractors on the road as part of the biggest farmers' uprising the country has ever experienced. Photo: via Land Workers Alliance.

Polish farmers block motorways for land rights, no GMOs

Oliver Tickell

9th February 2015

Thousands of small farmers in Poland are blockading motorways and holding demonstrations to demand land rights, a ban on GMOs and an end to oppressive health and safety regulations - and they are refusing to call off the protests until their demands are met. more...
Front cover of Farmageddon, published by Bloomsbury.

Farmageddon - the true cost of cheap meat

Julian Rose

5th February 2015

So just how serious is the impact of industrial farming? Worse than you could ever imagine, writes organic farmer Julian Rose in this review of 'Farmageddon - the Real Price of Cheap Food', which lifts the lid on the industry's human and ecological devastation, and the systematic cruelty inflicted on the animals that feed us. more...
The 'No TTIP train to Brussels' and 8m high Trojan Horse lobbying the European Commission today, 4th February 2015. Photo: Jess Hurd / NoTTIP via Gobal Justice Now / Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

TTIP is a lethal attack on food safety and animal welfare

Oliver Tickell

4th February 2015

As 300 protestors gather at the European Commission to protest at the resumption of TTIP trade talks between the EU and the USA, Oliver Tickell finds that the EU's newly released draft 'chapter' on food safety and animal welfare is a disastrous capitulation to corporate interests that will strip governments of their powers to regulate. more...
Zen Honeycutt, founder of Moms Across America, with Alexis of Organic Consumers Association minutes after the Monsanto shareholders' meeting at which her resolution was passed with 53% of the vote. Photo: still from Youtube (youtube.com/watch?v=K4fUod2ZZd

In the lion's den: my victory against Monsanto

Zen Honeycutt / Moms Across America

3rd February 2015

Moms Across America founder Zen Honeycutt took on Monsanto chief Hugh Grant at the company's Annual General Meeting - and won, winning 53% of the vote on a call for Monsanto to reform its practices and safeguard the health of millions of children exposed to its toxic products - and Roundup in particular. In her own words, this is what took place ... more...
Parched aricultural land in California’s drought-hit San Joaquin Valley. Photo: Pete Souza / White House via Wikimedia Commons.

California drought: rains bring scant relief

Kieran Cooke

29th January 2015

California's worst drought on record is far from over, writes Kieran Cooke. But while residents are getting used to dusty cars and parched lawns, the state's massive agricultural sector is still growing water-intensive crops like rice. How crazy is that? more...
Art Tanderup and wife at Harvest the Hope. Photo: © HearNebraska.org via Flickr.

Art Tanderup: How Nebraskans are winning the fight against Keystone XL

Kate Aronoff / Waging Nonviolence

30th January 2015

Nebraska has become ground zero for the fight against Keystone XL, and Art Tanderup - farmer and retired schoolteacher - has become a leading voice in the struggle. He spoke to Kate Aronoff about the divisive impact of the pipeline on the local community, threats to the Ogallala Aquifer, and the urgent need to shift to clean, renewable energy sources. more...
Hayes Valley Farm Seed Library. Photo: edibleoffice via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

The seed saving rebellion is growing - and banging at the Commission's door

Ben Raskin

29th January 2015

A year ago today, Europe-wide protests defeated an EU regulation that would have outlawed many seed saving activities, writes Ben Raskin. Now growers are taking matters into their own hands, saving and developing open-pollinated seeds - and campaigning for a seed regulation that supports them, not the monopolist seed corporations. more...
Lands of the Gassol community allocated to Dominion Farms, showing the link road constructed by UBRBDA and the community's use of the lands for grazing. Photo: Centre for Environmental Education and Development.

Nigerian farmers face destitution from 300 sq.km land grab backed by UK aid

Oliver Tickell

28th January 2015

Development secretary Justine Greening is facing questions over UK involvement in a massive land-grab in Nigeria that is evicting local farmers from 300 square kilometres of fertile farmland to clear the way for a rice farm owned and controlled from the US and Canada. A 45,000-strong community faces landlessness and destitution. more...
Grass-fed British cows - to keep them in our fields, we must pay dairy farmers a fair price for their milk. Photo: Steph French.

Save our farmers with fair trade milk!

Patrick Holden

22nd January 2015

As hundreds of British dairy farmers are forced out of business by milk prices well below production cost, writes Patrick Holden, it's time for a 'fair trade' British milk label that guarantees a fair price to smaller scale farmers operating to good environmental and animal welfare standards. more...

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